Unlocking Chicago’s Culinary Wonders: A Guide for Corporate Event Planners 

Hosts Global | Chicago Navy Pier and skyline

Whether you’re organizing a conference, sales meeting, corporate retreat, or VIP incentive experience (or in town for a whirlwind site visit), integrating Chicago’s diverse culinary landscape into your program promises to have you dreaming of endless visits to the Windy City. From immersive food tours to delightful dinearounds, and from lively networking receptions to exclusive buyouts, Chicago’s restaurant scene offers the best bites and unparalleled hospitality. Check out some of the best neighborhoods and restaurant recommendations from our resident foodies! 


South Loop: Fusion of Flavors, Steps from McCormick Place Convention Center 

Hosts Global | Moody Tongue Brewery piece of cake

Just steps away from the iconic McCormick Place Convention Center, lies a culinary paradise waiting to be explored. Among the standout eateries in the South Loop are Chicago Firehouse, known for its innovative takes on classic American cuisine, and Moody Tongue, the world’s first two Michelin star brewery. For those craving Mediterranean flavors, Apolonia serves up delicious Greek dishes in a cozy and inviting atmosphere (say YES to the Black Truffle Puff Bread!).  

Plus, the convenience of being near McCormick Place makes the South Loop a perfect choice for post-conference dining experiences. Whether you’re looking for a casual spot to unwind with colleagues or a refined dining experience to impress, the South Loop delivers with its eclectic mix of approachable options. 


River North: Epicenter of Fine Dining 

Hosts Global | RPM Seafood

Nestled along the scenic banks of the Chicago River, River North stands as a premier destination for fine dining, boasting breathtaking views and culinary excellence. This vibrant neighborhood, conveniently located near marquee hotels such as the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk and the Hyatt Regency Chicago, offers a perfect blend of convenience and luxury for your event attendees. 

With a remarkable selection of over countless restaurants, River North offers a diverse culinary landscape to explore. Among the array of must-visit restaurants in River North, RPM Seafood stands out, offering a remarkable seafood dining experience with sweeping panoramic views of the river. For those seeking prime steaks and Italian-inspired cuisine, score an in-demand reservation at Bavette’s or bask in an unforgettable dining experience at Gibson’s Italia, one that perfectly pairs the city’s iconic skyline with incredible service (and a bone-in ribeye). And for a taste of authentic flavors in a lively atmosphere, Tre Dita is a new hot spot serving amazing Tuscan cuisine, and views for days. 

River North’s prime location and unparalleled culinary offerings make it an ideal choice for hosting networking dinners, client receptions, or celebratory gatherings during your corporate event.  


West Loop/Fulton Market: A Hub of Culinary Innovation 

Hosts Global | Aba River  North

In the heart of Chicago’s West Loop/Fulton Market district, culinary creativity knows no bounds. The restaurant mecca of Chicago, home to iconic establishments like Carnivale, known for its vibrant Latin American fusion flavors and lively atmosphere (complete with a Cotton Candy martini), and Time Out Market, an innovative and vast food hall featuring some of the city’s top chefs and eateries, this neighborhood is a food lover’s paradise…and a GREAT place for dinearounds. 

For those craving Italian cuisine, Alla Vita offers authentic dishes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients in a cozy and welcoming setting (everyone needs ricotta dumplings in their lives). And don’t miss Aba, where Mediterranean-inspired dishes (don’t leave without having the frozen Greek yogurt with sea salt and olive oil) are served alongside stunning views of the city skyline from one of the most idyllic rooftop patios in the city. 

The West Loop / Fulton Market neighborhood presents an unparalleled dining experience, guaranteed to captivate even the most discerning palates, and conveniently situated close to Chicago’s prominent hotels. 


Off the Beaten Path: Uncovering Neighborhood Gems 

Hosts Global | Violet Hour Wicker Park cocktail

Looking to expand your radius of culinary options? Take a short journey to neighborhoods like Logan Square, Wicker Park/Bucktown, West Town, Pilsen, and Wrigleyville. These accessible neighborhoods boast a vibrant array of experiences, ranging from quaint diners to trendy gastropubs, each offering a tantalizing glimpse into Chicago’s “local favorites” culinary scene. 

  • Logan Square: Daisies delights with its creative pasta dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, while Parson’s Chicken & Fish offers a casual vibe with its renowned fried chicken and fish dishes, accompanied by refreshing cocktails in a lively outdoor setting. 
  • Wicker Park/Bucktown: Enjoy hidden gems like the speakeasy-style cocktail bar Violet Hour, known for its inventive drinks and intimate ambiance, and Tortello serving up traditional Italian dishes in an intimate trattoria setting. 
  • West Town: Super hot neighborhood right now with amazing options. Kasama serves up Filipino-inspired cuisine with a modern twist, showcasing bold flavors and inventive dishes in a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. 
  • Pilsen: Savor the authentic Mexican cuisine at 5 Rabanitos, where traditional flavors are elevated with a modern twist, promising a dining experience that celebrates the rich culinary heritage of the neighborhood.  
  • Wrigleyville: Be sure to experience the upscale steakhouse ambiance at Swift & Sons Tavern or indulge in the relaxed atmosphere and gourmet tacos at Big Star, both with views overlooking the iconic Wrigley Field. 

Hosts Global | Deep Dish Pizza

As your guide to Chicago’s culinary wonders, Hosts Chicago is here to support you in planning for groups of all sizes and palates, ensuring that every bite is an experience to remember. So, indulge in the diverse flavors, savor the iconic dishes, and let the unparalleled Midwestern charm of Chicago leave a lasting impression on your corporate event.  



Plan boldly & brilliantly

Get future event planning ideas and insight delivered right to your inbox.